Storage insect pests diversity at different levels of maize value chain: Mukono district, Uganda.
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Maize is a major source of food in Uganda both as a subsistence and commercial crop. Storage pests continue to devastate stored maize posing a threat to food security in many Uganda families and incomes agro processors. Maize quality and quantity is affected by these pests. The objective of the study was to determine the diversity of storage pest at three levels of the maize value chain, that is farmer level, village level and urban miller level. A survey was carried out January 2018 in the three counties of Mukono District to find out storage form, storage facilities, storage durations, and stored maize pest awareness among farmers, village maize traders and urban millers. A total of 100 farmers,10 village maize traders and 5 urban millers were sampled throughout the district. Whole grain and cob samples were collected from farmer, village traders and urban millers who were chosen randomly. Samples of each grain sample were incubated for 30 days and the emerging storage pests were identified to species level. At farmer level 50% of the samples collected had storage pests after incubation. The study showed that main storage pests affecting maize at farmer level were maize weevil (Sitophilus zeamais) and rice weevil (Sitophilus oryzae) with frequencies of 36% and 34% respectively. The survey showed that 97% of farmers are aware of the storage pest problem and only 2% of the farmers use synthetic chemical to control these pests. The rest of the farmer use soot, ash, hot pepper, urine to combat the pest problem. Majority of the farmers store their maize as cobs (55%) as opposed to storage as grain (45%) and maize is stored mainly in sacks. Majority of the samples collected from village stores had storage pests after incubation (80%) while 20% had no single pest. Maize weevil (Sitophilus zeamais) and rice weevil (Sitophilus oryzae) were the two pests found in saple from village stores. The survey showed that majority of the village stores keeps their maize in form of grain (90%) as opposed to storage as cobs. Much of this grain is stored in sacks (60%), followed by storage on bare floor (30%). It was also found that 10% of village stores use synthetic chemical for storage pest control. The study found Maize weevil (Sitophilus zeamais), rice weevil (Sitophilus oryzae), larger grain borer (Prostephanus trunctus), lesser grain borer (Rhyzopertha dominica) and granary weevil (Sitophilus granarius) in samples collected from urban millers at frequencies of 60%,60%,20%,20% and 20% respectively. The surveys found that majority of urban millers store their maize in form of grains (80%) and on mainly bare cemented floors (80%). 20% of the urban millers apply chemical to control maize storage pests. The chemical sited was Aluminium phosphide.